The engines, bearings and machines that Putin needs for the production of weapons went to Russia from Slovakia, the Slovak mass media write. The authorities promise to immediately conduct an inspection.
Despite the aid to Ukraine , Slovakia acted as a supplier of the Russian army already after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As Dennik N reported , the country produced a large number of parts that were used in the production of weapons for the Russian army.
After an Iranian Mohajer-6 drone crashed into the sea near the Ukrainian port of Odesa in early October, a surprise discovery by the Ukrainian military was that the UAV was powered by a top-of-the-line Austrian Rotax 912is engine used in small civilian aircraft. The manufacturer Rotax immediately denied information about the supply of engines to Iran and began an investigation.
It soon became clear that the Slovak customs authorities gave the “green light” to the export of the product “Rotax 912 aircraft engine for civil aircraft type DY-K103” to Iran. It also became known that the list of various goods, which Slovak customs officials let into Russia already after the start of the war in Ukraine, reaches several thousand items, and these components can be used for the production of heavy weapons. These are bearings, machines for the production of tire parts and even entire engines.
The investigation revealed that customs officials apparently did not check when confirming the export whether the goods could also be used for the production of military equipment – and therefore whether they were dual-use goods – both civilian and military. Usually, such goods require the approval of the Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs before being sent abroad, which in this case were not received.
Exports to Russia will be checked
Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance now blames the questionable export to Russia on the Ministry of Economy, which is responsible for issuing export licenses. However, the Ministry of Economy claims that it issues export licenses only upon request, and no such requests have been received. According to this ministry, only customs officers can detect questionable goods.
The export of goods from Slovakia to Russia, which could end up in military systems, began to be checked by the financial administration. Importers of some items from Slovakia’s export list may be associated with specific manufacturers of Russian military equipment.
Jiří Žežulka, the head of the financial department under which the customs officers are subordinate, insisted at the press conference that the Slovak customs officers were not mistaken. He said that the financial administration is a state body that can do only what is within its competence.
According to him, as long as some specific goods or their recipient are not on the list of sanctions and are not dual-purpose goods, customs officers must release them to Russia. According to Zhezhulka, after the invasion, only a minimum of goods left Slovakia for Russia. He also noted that permission to use goods in military equipment is not within their competence, but within the competence of the Ministry of Economy.
In general, the position of Bratislava regarding the war is unambiguous. Ukrainian military personnel undergo combat training at Slovak training grounds. At the beginning of July, Slovakia and Ukraine signed a contract for the supply of eight Zuzana-2 self-propelled artillery installations of 155 mm caliber, and in August Bratislava promised to transfer to Ukraine 30 armored infantry vehicles and MiG-29 multipurpose fighters of the fourth generation .
The position of the Slovak people is somewhat different from the position of the authorities – as recent polls have shown, the majority of the population of Slovakia wants Russia to win the war against Ukraine , and the most pro-Russian category of citizens suddenly became thirty-year-olds.\